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Story of Money

Section 16: Price stability: Goal of the Fed Previous | Next | Section Index
Inflation is the worst enemy of a stable economy
Inflation has plagued many nations far more than it has the United States. Many economies destabilized during the two world wars and the Korean Conflict, and inflation reached astonishing proportions in some parts of the world. The notes displayed here are some of the largest denominations ever circulated.

100 quintillion pengö, Hungary, 1946
(100,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengö)

What one pengö bought in August 1945, it took 38 octillion (38,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) peng√∂ to buy in July 1946.

10 million pengö, Hungary, 1945

2,000 yuan, China, 1942
After the formal outbreak of war with Japan, the national currency became gradually inflated.

One million yuan, China, 1949
What one yuan bought in 1937, it took 1.65 million yuan to buy in 1948.

1,000 won, Korea
In June 1950, one won was worth about 370 to the dollar. In 1952, the won was valued at 6,000 to the dollar and in the black market ran as high as 30,000 to the dollar.

50,000 marks, Poland, 1922

100,000 rubles, Russia, 1921
What one ruble bought in December 1921, it took 1.24 million rubles to buy in January 1924.

100,000 drachmas, Greece, 1944

Five million drachmas, Greece, 1944
What one drachma bought in November 1943, it took 4.7 billion drachmas to buy in November 1944.

One shilling, Austria, 1924
(overprinted on 10,000 kronen note)

Three million marks, Germany, October 11, 1922
(overprinted on 1,000 marks)

1,000 rubles, Russia, 1919

10,000 kronen, Austria, November 2, 1918

Five groszy, Poland, 1924
(overprinted on half of a 10 million mark note)
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